This piece was contributed by Charlotte Meier of Home Safety Hub, a state-specific safety resource database that helps keep families and communities safe. Check them out at HomeSafetyHub.org!
Halloween is spooky and gory enough without adding real gashes and broken bones. Leave the bones to the skeletons and the blood to the vampires. Here are some tips to keep trick-or-treaters and homeowners safe, and to prevent at least one less thing from going bump in the night.
Walk Like a Zombie
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of going from house to house and filling up pillowcases with candy. Parents have a responsibility to remind their children to walk, not run, between houses and to visit houses with well-lit driveways and sidewalks.
Although a dark and gloomy atmosphere will add to the spooky Halloween aura, lighting candles is considered a fire hazard. Trick-or-treaters can stumble into the open flames and knock them over, injuring themselves or starting a fire. Light up the night with LED lights or string Halloween-themed orange lights around your house and trees. If you have a particularly long driveway or walkway, turn on your normal outdoor lights to keep the path easily navigable.
Hopefully you get a lot of foot traffic on October 31st. In addition to maintaining a well-lit environment, clear the path from your driveway or walkway up to your front door. Remove obstructions or hazards, repair rotted and loose boards, and mend unstable porch railings and wobbly walkway stones that pose a threat. Having props is fine (in fact, it is encouraged) just make sure those creepy tombstones and fake cobwebs are out of the pathway.
Lock Up Your Real Monsters
You might think your Chihuahua is cute and cuddly, but not everyone will agree with you. Keep your dogs and cats away from the candy-receiving area so there’s no chance of them biting or jumping on a toddler dressed as a pumpkin. Safety extends to your pets just as much as it does for your unfamiliar guests!
Think Before You Serve
Sometimes it’s easy to forget some of the simplest Halloween rules. It’s important to remember that you are responsible for the safety of the guests who visit your home. It would be wise to only serve commercially packaged treats. Likewise, only accept candy and goodies that have been commercially packaged.
Practice Indoor and Outdoor Safety
Despite the warnings from their parents, children hopped up on sugar are still going to run from house to house. Rake leaves, remove dead and pointy tree branches and twigs, fill in any large holes, house your gardening tools, and roll up the hose to eliminate potential hazards. If you’re having a Halloween bash, check your smoke alarms and keep paper decorations away from carved pumpkins with open flames.
Tricks Not Treats
Halloween night is notorious for pranks and petty crime. Opening your home to visitors can open you up to potential insurance claims and lawsuits. Make sure your house is adequately covered. Speak with your insurance agent to confirm you will be fully protected for whatever mayhem may come your way.
Halloween can be one of the most exciting nights of the year in both good and bad ways! Make sure you follow these tips to ensure a safe and happy Halloween.